49ers players say they didn’t know new Super Bowl overtime rules

Feb 12, 2024, 10:55 AM

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs throws a touchdown pass to wide receiver ...

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 11: Quarterback Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs throws a touchdown pass to wide receiver Mecole Hardman Jr. #12 against the San Francisco 49ers during overtime of Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Chiefs defeated the 49ers 25-22. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Super Bowl LVIII ended with an overtime win for the Kansas City Chiefs over the San Francisco 49ers. And according to reports, it sounds like the Chiefs were more prepared for an overtime game than the 49ers.

San Francisco won the overtime coin toss and elected to receive. A standard strategy during the regular season. The 49ers’ 13-play drive ended with a Jake Moody field goal, putting them temporarily ahead of the Chiefs. Then Kansas City received the ball and eventual Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes led a game-winning drive, capped off with a Mecole Hardman touchdown.

The Ringer’s Lindsay Jones detailed multiple conversations with San Francisco players who said they did not know overtime rules are different in the NFL’s postseason.

What are the new overtime rules for the NFL postseason?

In 2022, the league changed the rules for how overtime is played in the playoffs and Super Bowl. This new rule guarantees both teams possession.

Treated like a new game, there are 15-minute quarters with both teams getting one possession. If Team A gets possession first and scores a touchdown, then Team B will get a chance to score a touchdown, too.

“If the score is still tied at the end of an overtime period — or if the second team’s initial possession has not ended — the teams will play another overtime period. Play will continue regardless of how many overtime periods are needed for a winner to be determined,” the league’s website reads.

What did the players say about overtime rules in the Super Bowl?

In Jones’ piece, she writes that Kansas City Chiefs players have been discussing the new rules since training camps. But it doesn’t sound like the 49ers took the same approach.

Sacramento native and defensive lineman Arik Armstead told Jones he didn’t learn about the new rules until they were shown on the jumbotron during a timeout.

According to ESPN, 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk said no overtime strategy was discussed prior to the game.

“You know what? I didn’t even realize the playoff rules were different in overtime. I assume you just want the ball to score a touchdown and win. I guess that’s not the case. I don’t totally know the strategy there. We hadn’t talked about it, no.”

Key offseason dates for the San Francisco 49ers

  • Tuesday, Feb. 20th – Teams can begin franchising players until Tuesday, March 5th
  • Tuesday, Feb. 27 – NFL Combine begins
  • Thursday, March 13 – The 2024 free agency signing period begins at 1 p.m. PST

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